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Pete Haydon departs OV/SA to head up Australian College of Optometry

Pete Haydon Australian college of optometry

The Australian College of Optometry (ACO) has announced Mr Pete Haydon has been appointed CEO, resigning from his position at the helm of Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) after seven years.

Haydon said he was eager to get started in his new role, which he’ll commence on 22 November, with Professor Michael Ibbotson continuing as interim CEO until then.

“I genuinely believe in the work the ACO does and there is a strong fit with my own personal philosophy and professional goals,” Haydon said.

“My belief in humanitarian principles is lifelong and to be part of an organisation that is founded on such principles – and embodies them – will be a privilege.”

The Australian College of Optometry, based in Melbourne.

ACO president Mr Rodney Hodge said the council had been through a lengthy and rigorous process to select its next CEO.

“Pete is an experienced leader with a great understanding of optometry through his role with Optometry Victoria South Australia,” Hodge said.

Rodney Hodge.

“He strongly aligns with the ethics and values of the ACO. We believe that in concert with the council and the staff he will, through his leadership, contribute greatly to the future direction of ACO.”

Hodge also acknowledged the contributions of former CEO Ms Maureen O’Keefe in her eight years in the role.  She resigned in July.

“During this time Maureen led significant change at the ACO, including the opening of the ACO’s first eyecare clinic outside of Victoria. The ACO council wishes Maureen all the best in the next phase of her career,” Hodge said.

OV/SA president Ms Elise Pocknee-Clem acknowledged Haydon’s contribution on his departure from the association.

“Pete’s time with us has been highly productive. In his early years, he worked to expand member services including CPD programming, evolve our work with early career practitioners, diversify revenue sources and stabilise the operations of the business,” she said.

Maureen O’Keefe.

“Once this had been achieved, Pete commenced work on legacy projects including the amalgamation of the Victorian and South Australian divisions of the association, the joint venture with ODMA that created the O=MEGA product, and he spearheaded the successful bid for the World Congress of Optometry to come to Australia.”

More recently, Pocknee-Clem added, Haydon has helped guide the membership through the pandemic with clear and ethical leadership.

“He leaves behind an association that is stronger as a result of his contributions. We thank Pete for his time with us as CEO and wish him all the best with the next chapter of his career,” she said.

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